PUBS, PATIOS & BARS: Dunedin, a whole new ballgame
Since 1978, the Toronto Blue Jays have called Dunedin, Fla., home – at least in February and March. And each year thousands of snowbirds trek to the St. Petersburg area (or are lucky enough to already be there) to be a part of the spring training ritual and to catch a few Grapefruit League games before the real season starts back north.
And with a new-look TD Ballpark (formerly Dunedin Stadium/Grant Field) and player development complex unveiled last year, long-time fans and visitors have a whole new ballgame to discover.
But what’s a trip to the ballgame without a great bar/pub for openers or closers (to use a bit of baseball lingo)?
Fortunately, with a burgeoning craft beer scene, Dunedin is full of great establishments for the purpose, seven of which can be discovered on a walkable beer trail (with a handy walking guide map available online from Visit Dunedin). From 7venth Sun Brewery and Caledonia Brewing to Woodwright Brewing Company and Dunedin Brewery, all locations are located within a 1.6-km. area – and about 15 minutes from the TD Ballpark.
One of the favourites is the Cueni Brewing Co. (CBC), a small craft brewery located just off the Pinellas Trail near downtown (about 45 minutes from St. Pete/Clearwater).
Opened in 2016, Cueni – named after the owners and pronounced Q-knee – serves hand-crafted beers with a focus on English Ales and Belgians styles, and has won several awards in state competitions. Beers that are always on tap include Belgian 3 Way, Buzzed Blonde, and many IPAs – a full list can be found on Cueni’s Facebook page – and there are gluten-reduced versions, and sampler boards. Wine and cider compliment the offerings. There’s also a pool table, a host of “one-handed games” (so you don’t have to put your beer down), and dogs are welcome on the patio – a nod to a town dubbed “Dog-edin.”
CBC is located 945 Huntley Ave. and is open 3-9 p.m. Tues-Thurs; 3-11 Friday; and 1 to 11 and 6 respectively on Saturdays and Sundays (closed Monday).
Other members of the brewery/distillery collective include:
Dunedin Brewery: The oldest microbrewery in Florida is located 937 Douglas Ave.
7th Sun Brewing: Known for Belgian-style beer, IPAs, second-use spirit barrel aged beer, and oak-aged sour beer. 1012 Broadway.
HOB Brewing Co.: At 931 Huntley Ave, the tasting room is across the street at the Dunedin House of Beer.
Soggy Bottom Brewing Co.: A fun and tasteful brewery that offers hand-crafted beer with entertainment. 660 Main St.
Caledonia Brewing Co.: Located in the historic Dunedin Times Building at 587 Main St., the craft brewery serves its own hand-crafted beers, local guest taps, wine and cider.
Woodright Brewing Co.: Located adjacent to The Dunedin Woodwright in downtown Dunedin, WBC specializes in European beer styles. 985 Douglas Ave.
Cotherman Distilling Co.: Artisan Craft Distillery brings vodka, gin & whiskey downtown. 933 Huntley Ave.
And while the Jays have now shuffled off to Buffalo for the next stage of this year’s season, they’ll be in town again next year and every spring for at least the next quarter century, having recently signed on for another 25 years at TD Ballpark.
Of course, delightful Dunedin, doesn’t depend on the Blue Jays, boasting well-recognized small-town charm and an eclectic Main Street – home to the popular Casa Tina Mexican restaurant, amongst other unique eateries and shops – plus proximity to Clearwater Beach, the inter-coastal waterway, and nearby Caladesi Island State Park, the latter reachable by ferry or on foot.
And then there’s the epic 61-km Pinellas Trail – a local mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, whether it’s walking, jogging, cycling, or skating – which cuts directly through town. (Bikes, regular and electric, can be rented in town).
Or for year-round pilgrims to the Blue Jays base, there will be an expanding repertoire of stadium and Blue Jay experience options, plus, during the summer, the chance to catch one of the Jays’ farm teams in action.
Simply put, any way you slice it, Dunedin is a home run.
With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios, and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:
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First published at Travel Industry Today